World javelin champion Johannes Vetter and German 3000m steeplechase record-holder Gesa-Felicitas Krause have been voted 2017 German Athletes of the Year.
The voting was once again organised by Leichtathletik.de, the magazine “Leichtathletik” and 'Freunden der Leichtathletik' ('Friends of Athletics.') In total, more than 40,000 votes were cast across the four categories: male and female German Athlete of the Year and male and female Young German Athlete of the Year.
Vetter dominated the voting on the men’s side, claiming 32.5% of the vote share ahead of world decathlon silver medallist Rico Freimuth (13.2%) and world javelin fourth-placer Thomas Rohler (9.2%). Not only did Vetter claim the world title in London in August, he also moved to second on the world all-time lists with 94.44m in Luzern - his first competition over the 90m line - which also eclipsed Rohler’s early season German record of 93.90m set in Doha in May.
Johannes Vetter's extraordinary series in Luzern tonight:— European Athletics (@EuroAthletics) July 11, 2017
The outcome on the women’s side was less of a clear-cut one with Krause gaining 19% of the vote share ahead of world heptathlon silver medallist Carolin Schafer (15.4%) and sub-11 100m sprinter Gina Luckenkemper (14.6%). Krause’s campaign for a second medal at the IAAF World Championships was curtailed in the early stages by a collision but she finished her season on a high note, improving her German record to 9:11.85 on home soil in Berlin.
Krause claimed the award for the third season in succession to become the first athlete to do so since Astrid Kumbernuss in 1997.
European U20 decathlon champion and world U20 record-holder Niklas Kaul was named the best U20 male athlete for an unprecedented third season in succession with 26.4% of the vote share while European U20 shot put champion Julia Ritter, who produced a lifetime best of 17.21m in the final round in Grosseto, claimed the women’s award with 17.8% of the vote share.
The four winners will receive their awards at a presentation during the German Indoor Championships in Dortmund on 17-18 February.